Health depends on a variety of factors. Lifestyle, environmental conditions and social relationships are of decisive importance for the mental and physical health of an individual. These health determinants are factors that we ourselves can influence and are thus particularly important for preventive health.
There is little argument about the positive effects of physical activity and a balanced diet on health. Epidemiological studies show that health-conscious behaviour reduces the risk of being overweight and of developing osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Cigarette smoking, on the other hand, is regarded as the high-risk behaviour with the most noticeable effects on health. Preventative measures that contribute to the restriction or eradication of tobacco smoking should therefore be highly valued. Alcohol abuse and illegal drug use also have a substantial (negative) influence on health, and cost not only years of life but also cause high economic costs.
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